6/30/2016

Would A Worm Go On A Walk? ~ Book Review and Giveaway

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My five year old daughter loves to look at books and have books read to her. The latest book that we are reviewing is Would a Worm Go on a Walk? by Hannah C. Hall. This book is a nice hardcover book with wonderful illustrations by Bill Bolton.

About the book:
“Would a worm go on a walk, if you could lead him down the street? / Would he wear his tiny tennies, if he had two worm-sized feet?”
The book is a humorous and imaginative picture book that introduces children to the idea that animals are uniquely created by a loving and wise God. Would a Worm Go on a Walk?, with its colorful, comical illustrations, is a fresh, fun way to teach young children that God created all things very good. He gave all the animals, and children, too, wonderful qualities and unique strengths. Children will giggle over the ridiculous scenarios presented, and they will come away with the knowledge that we all are loved and special.

About the author:
Hannah C. Hall is the author of best-selling children’s books, including God Bless You and Good Night and God Bless Our Christmas, as well as an award-winning blog, HannahCHall.com. Hannah lives in Prairie Grove, AK with her husband, Josh, a worship pastor, and their four children.

















What my daughter and I thought:
My daughter loved looking at the pictures as I read her the story. She laughed about the silliness of the animals being portrayed. It was a cute book and I like how it ended with "God's masterpiece is YOU!" This is definitely one of those books that will be read over and over again. We both loved it. 

















Enter below using the Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

6/27/2016

Menu Plan Monday ~ Last Week Of June!













Here is what is on the menu for this week (in no particular order).
There are several from last week listed, because other plans came up and we didn't get to them.

~ One pot chicken alfredo
~ Philly cheese steaks
~ Lentil tacos
~ Cube steak and gravy
~ Chicken pot pie
~ Roast beef
~ Homemade pizza

Be sure to click on the picture above for more menu ideas.

6/21/2016

LearnBop ~ Review


For the past several weeks, I have been reviewing a math program from LearnBop, LearnBop for Families. I chose to use the family plan, which gives you access for 2-4 students. My original plan, if I was chosen for the review, was to allow my soon top be 9th grader and soon to be 6th grader to use the program to get them ready for the upcoming year. It didn't work out with them using it, so I have used both of their levels to try to get a feel of the program.



















What is LearnBop for families? 
LearnBop is a self paced, online math program. It is geared for children in grades 3rd through 12th. Parents are also able to use the program to help them to better teach a math program to their children. After going through an assessment, LearnBop provides an immediate personalized program for your child (or you).  LearnBop for Families is for children who need to catch up or get ahead in math. It also helps to prepare them for exams and builds confidence in math. LearnBop for Families is for parents who need some help in teaching (or helping) their child with math concepts. LearnBop is built for families with a step by step help in different math levels.

How we used LearnBop.
I stated above that this program did not work out for my 9th or 6th graders. I had them sit down and take the assessment for their grade level. Since the 9th grader is going to be starting geometry in a few weeks, I thought it would be great if he could get a head start on it. After doing the warm-up (assessment), he said he did not know anything and it was really difficult. He also said it was a different style of learning than what he was used to and did not think it would help him. After he told me that, I decided to sit down and go through the geometry steps. Wow, it is difficult! I thought I would remember at least some geometry from high school, but according to this site, I did not. I continued on even though it was difficult and have not been able to make it past the first unit. I keep getting stuck and even though it shows you step by step how to solve the problem, I am just not getting it. I may try to continue if it helps me be able to help my son in geometry.












Now, on to my daughter. I had her start on the 6th grade, but it was too difficult for her. She struggles in math and gets frustrated very easily. So, when she started crying, I bumped her back down to the 5th grade level thinking it would be easier. For her, it was not. She was just as easily frustrated. Then, I had to make a decision to be able to review the program. I decided that I would sit with her and help her through each step. We would sit down and go through a concept one at a time. The first unit was multiplication and division. The one thing she struggles with all of the time. I had her watch the videos (there were about 3 for each step), then I would sit down with her and go through the problems and help her. The goal is set to be a 90% mastery and she was able to get around 95% with me helping her through the program.






















Final thoughts:
While this math program may have not worked out for our family at this time, I think it may be a good program for learning math concepts for other families. The videos are short and help lay the foundation to each step. The child (or parent) is able to take a concept step by step if needed if they do not know the answer right away. After going through several geometry bops, I can't say that the concept has stuck with me. I probably would not be able to solve them again. I'll be keeping this program in mind if my son does need help with his geometry later on. I do think some of the videos would be helpful for him.

Check out what other crew members thought of LearnBop.

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6/20/2016

Menu Plan Monday ~ June 20, 2016













Here is what I have planned for this week (in no particular order):
~ Steak fajitas
~ One pot chicken alfredo
~ Chicken pot pie
~ Chef salad (good for a hot day)
~ Roast beef in crock pot
~ BBQ chicken
~ Cube steak with gravy

Be sure to click on the image above to check out more menus.

6/17/2016

Random Five On Friday














1. I can't believe how fast our spring/summer break has gone by. Starting back up in two weeks (July 5). I just need to put some final touches on the planners and we will be ready to go.

2. Last week, I had to stay with my in-laws while my brother and sister in-law went on vacation. They have Netflix and I got my kids hooked on When Calls the Heart. :)

3. We are going to try to go pick blueberries tomorrow. We have been going to the same place for the 18 years that I have lived here.

4. Next Friday is our 16th wedding anniversary.











5. My kids love playing outside, no matter if it is 100 degrees or 10 degrees. :) I am thankful they still love to play outside.

6/10/2016

The Glass Castle ~ Book Review






I love to read and have tried to instill that same love in my children. The latest book that we read together is The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins from Shiloh Run Press.

About the Book:
The Glass Castle is a story that was written for middle school age children. The book is a beautiful hardcover book, 250 pages long.

Avery has been kidnapped! Why? Where is she going? What happened to her father and brother? When she gets to the castle, she learns a little bit about why she may have been kidnapped. The king is growing old and needs an heir to the throne. He has remarried, but thirteen years ago, the king's wife had a child. She died, but no one knows what happened to the child. The new queen's solution? Dispose the kingdom of all the thirteen year olds. But, it won't be easy. Avery teams up with Kate, Tuck, and Kendrick to try to find out more. Along the way, Avery discovers that her mother may have a connection to the castle. She remembers her mother telling her stories about a castle, but she thought they were made up. Avery is also able to get out of the castle, but when she gets back to her home, where is her father? After learning that her father is no longer living in her house, she reluctantly goes back to the castle. She is determined to help the other children.  She needs to find out more. More about her mother's "stories," more about why she is in the castle.

What we thought:
I read this book aloud to my children, ages 14, 12, 10, and 5. I would read through a couple chapters at a time. The older kids enjoyed hearing the story. They wanted to know what is going to happen next. At the end, they said that it was a good book and they were disappointed it ended they way it did (as a cliffhanger). They said they cannot wait until the next book comes out, because they can't wait to hear what happens to Avery. I thought thus was a good book. I also disliked that it ended in a cliffhanger and we didn't get to learn everything. We can't wait to get the next book in the series that comes out in October. We are looking forward to learning more about Avery and her friends.

The Glass Castle {Shiloh Run Press Review}

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6/08/2016

Wordless Wednesday

This is one of my favorite pictures of my oldest daughter taken 5 years ago.


6/06/2016

Esther: The Belle Of Patience ~ Review and Giveaway

Esther: The Belle of Patience #BibleBelles
I am always looking for great books that teach my children great values. The Adventures of Rooney Cruz are Bible story books that are based on different women of the Bible. The series will highlight five superhero women: Hannah, Esther, Abigail, Ruth, and Deborah. So, why did they choose these five women? It's based on Exodus 28:35 ~ The sound of the bell(e)s will be heard (H.E.A.R.D.~ The acronym is the first letter of each women's names).

Who is Rooney? 
Rooney Cruz is the main character of each book who experiences the Bible with the help of her guardian angel, Mari. On her journeys, Rooney learns about one special superpower that each of  the women had, which allows her to also earn that superpower.

Who is the author?
Erin Weidemann is a wife, mother, author, teacher, former college athlete, and five time cancer survivor. She loves spending time with her family and is the CEO and founder of Bible Belles.

About Esther: The Belle of Patience ~
Esther is book two in the Bible Belles series. In this story, Rooney gets upset when a soccer teammate hogs the ball and doesn't give anyone else a chance to play the game. She wants to have a talk with the coach, but doesn't know how. With the help of her angel Mari, Rooney discovers a way to talk with her coach. Mari takes her back in time to when Esther also needed to use discernment to talk with someone. Through her time watching Esther, Rooney learns that it takes patience when trying to find the right time and place to talk with someone.















What we thought of Esther ~
I have two daughters. A ten year old and a five year old. They both enjoyed hearing about Rooney and Esther. The book is not very long and can easily be read in one sitting. My girls also loved the colorful illustrations throughout the book. This was a great story that shows girls that there were some great women in the Bible that were used by God. We give this book 5 stars!



Also, the website is full of great information. I found this great page of freebies (coloring pages, memory verse cards, prayer college, and prayer belles).

Now for the giveaway. Enter below using the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

6/03/2016

The Old Schoolhouse Hey Mama! Planner ~ Review



















I love planners! I especially love paper planners over online or app planners. So, I was happy to review the Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 from The Old Schoolhouse.

The Hey Mama! planner is 192 pages of planning materials, calendars, goals, writing prompts, historical information, checklists, and encouragement.  It is a print planner spiral bound with the homeschooling mom in mind.






















How I plan to use the planner:
In the monthly portion of the planner, I have begun to write out some plans for each month. Example- First day of school, VBS, reviews that I have due, and field trips. I will go through each month and list what is happening each month. This will be helpful in seeing if we need to take a field trip day or go on a hike just to get out of the house. It will also be helpful in keeping up with extra curricular activities (or church activities) that my kids participate in.

July monthly calendar (I use pencil in case I need to erase and move something):















Next up: There are several (36) page spreads of weekly planners. They are columns of 5 across and 7 down. I plan to list each of my children in the down column and the days of the week (Monday through Friday in the across column. I will be able to write down what tests or quizzes they will have due. See example of the week of July 11 below. The (L) next to each date is the lesson number they will be on that day. Each of my older three children use a spiral notebook for their daily plans. The Hey Mama! planner will help me to see when they have a test or quiz coming up, so I am prepared to give it to them.














The next group of pages are the goals pages. Monthly, semester, and yearly goals pages are provide, about 4 or 5 of each. I don't really make goals. My main goal is to survive, but since I will have a high school age child, I may jot down some goals for him.

Some of the next pages are attendance sheets, which I will be using since my state requires me to keep an attendance log, books read this year, curriculum planning sheets, and a contact list.

Lastly, there are several pages that can be used for your students. They are as follows:

  • 36 General Writing Prompts
  • Story Starters
  • The Thirteen Colonies by Date
  • Timeline of Inventions
  • U.S. Presidents and Their Wives
  • Branches of Federal, State, and Local Governments
  • United States and Capitals

Since I will have one child studying US History, I will definitely use these pages for him.

And finally, there is also a transcript page and how to create a transcript information page. I started to fill it out for my oldest since he took some high school courses this past year in 8th grade. I cut off info at the top that lists our school name and address.

















Also, spread throughout the planner are notes of encouragement, such as the one seen below.

















What do I think of the Hey Mama! Planner?
I love it! I love everything about it. It is just the right thickness for me. I love the calendar pages and the weekly planner spread pages. I love the Hey Mama! notes of encouragement throughout the planner. This planner is just perfect for me or any homeschooling mom. 5 stars!

Below is a coupon code for $10 off for the Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017.

Coupon Code Hey Mama Planner 2016 2017


Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner 2016-2017 Review

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6/02/2016

Fun Weekend

This past weekend, Memorial Day, we decided to head to the beach on Sunday afternoon. Tropical Storm Bonnie was sitting in South Carolina and we had showers in the morning, but we wanted (needed) to go to the beach. We ate lunch and it was clear by the time we got to the beach. The kids had a fun time. They did get a little wet, but, because of the storm, the waves were a little high and the water was still cold.






















On Monday, my husband's family wanted to get together for ice cream and dinner. We went to the local creamery. We had some delicious ice cream and then sat and enjoyed the weather for a couple of hours before heading to dinner at a new BBQ place. We had a great day with family.



6/01/2016

Essential Skills Advantage ~ Review

Over the past month and a half, my 5 year old daughter has had the chance to review the Complete Home Learning Suite from Essential Skills Advantage.

What is Essential Skills Advantage or ESA?
 ESA is an online curriculum for children ages 5-12 (K-6th grade). It is a self paced online learning tool that is fun and engaging. It is a supplemental program for children that need some extra practice. There are thousands of activities for children in the following subjects:
Math (K-6th)
Reading (K-6th)
Language and Grammar (K-6th)
Science (K-3rd)
Geography (4th-6th)
Purchasing a subscriptions allows you access to all grade levels. You are able to mix and match to your child's needs.

What is the Complete Home Learning Suite?
It's exactly as it sounds. You have access to all subjects in all grade levels. You are also able to keep track of your child's progress. And your child has access to a lot of fun!






















How did we use ESA?
I used this program with my newly turned 5 year old (March 2). She will be starting kindergarten this fall. She did some K4 things this past year, but I felt she could use some practice in a few areas, specifically reading, to help prepare her for K5 this fall. She will be home-schooled using a box curriculum that I have used with my older three children. So, how did we use ESA? I set up her account and had her "play" (her word) at least three times a week. She always wanted to do more and I let her.  Although I had her working on the reading portion of the curriculum, I did let her try out the other subjects to see how they were and how I could use them with her. She worked through the reading portion starting at the very beginning and has been working through each segment. She also worked though some of the math and a section on Earth and Space science. She liked the reading part the best, so that is what we mainly reviewed.


















What we thought of ESA:
As you can see from the short video posted below, she had a lot of fun "playing" on the computer. Since, she has not used a computer yet, I did have to help her in the beginning with using the mouse. She is used to using a tablet and we did load it up on the tablet (Kindle Fire) one day, but the screen is too small and she didn't know how to scroll to get to the next section. I had heard of ESA, but did not know much about it. I am glad to have been able to review the program with my daughter. It has helped her so much, not only with reading or math, but also with computer skills. I allowed her to get on the computer by herself which is a big milestone. The program has also helped her with her phonics, letters, numbers, and listening skills. She has had so much fun and I will have her complete the kindergarten portion over the next year as a supplement to our main curriculum.

Screen shot from Kindle fire









Essential Skills Advantage Review

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